July is here. A new month, a new start, a new place to live. This is a month of new, of renewal, of change, and hopefully a return to some semblance of normal. I’m wishing to return to my mindfulness routines, to walking, meditating, writing, and breathing easier.
Wishing and hoping and new are today’s Top 5 Music Obsessions “unofficial” theme, with a bonus, non-theme song to dance to, because really, I’m wishing to have the time and space to dance a little, too.
Don’t we all want to dance a little?
Top 5 Music Obsessions – July 1, 2019
1. “Wishin’ and Hopin'” by Dusty Springfield
from the album, Stay Awhile/I Only Want To Be With You (1964)
“You gotta show him that you care just for him
Do the things he likes to do
Wear your hair just for him, ’cause
You won’t get him
Thinkin’ and a-prayin’, wishin’ and a-hopin’.”
In the throes of binge-watching, The Handmaid’s Tale this song sits a little funny. Wearing your hair for “him” is more than a bit much after all that time with June, and the other handmaids and “Marthas”.
Though I do think the sentiment of this song is being true to the person you love, not doing everything just for the other person – without any agency of one’s own. At least I (wish and) hope that’s what its meant to mean.
The non-Gilead feels this song elicits though are of my childhood, of playing 45’s in a friend’s garage, pretending we were a sixties girl group, singing-a-long and making up dance moves to songs like “Wishin’ and Hopin'”. This was a favorite, tied with “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes.
2. “Wishing Well” by Terence Trent D’Arby (Sananda Maitreya)
from the album, Introducing the Hardline According to Terrence Trent D’Arby (1987)
“Kissing like a bandit stealing time underneath a sycamore tree
Cupid by the hour sends Valentines to my sweet lover and me.”
This song fits perfectly into the “wish” theme, but it also fits into the bonus theme of “wishing” to dance.
I have such vivid memories of this song, this video, and of Terence. So dreamy, I remember my friends and I excitedly agreeing on that. I also was enamored by the lyrics – “kissing like a bandit stealing time”. Yeah. In 1987, I was really “wishing” for kisses like that.
I mean, really though, who doesn’t want kisses like that at any age?
This is such a sexy song, and it’s such a danceable one, too. “Wishing Well” is a total bop!
3. “New” by No Doubt
from the album, Return of Saturn (2000)
“Oh, you’re not old,
and you’re not familiar.
and I’m learning about you.
you’re so new.”
Though “New” is off of No Doubt’s “full of hits” album, Return of Saturn, it was really the movie Go that introduced me to this song. Its inclusion in the soundtrack and my love of the film is one of the reasons that it is in my Top 5 list of favorite No Doubt songs.
I did end up a fan of the album, and other songs on it, though whenever I reach for it I want to hear “New” first (and “Bathwater” second).
On this first day, this new month, and while I unpack so many boxes in our new house, this was the song I wanted to hear first.
4. “No New Tale To Tell” by Love and Rockets
from the album, Earth Sun Moon (1987)
“My world is your world.
People like to hear their names.
I’m no exception,
please call my name.
Call my name.”
Another favorite track of mine from 1987.
Another “new” song.
And, another song I totally love to dance to.
Earth Sun Moon may just be my favorite Love and Rockets album. I love the psychedelic sensibilities blended and mixed with the band’s goth/darkwave sound. It does my goth-girl, music-loving heart good. All of it.
The lyrics in “No New Tale To Tell” get me every time. Everything it says/sings about nature, life, and humanity is complex, poetic, melancholic, beautiful, and very real.
“Our little lives get complicated.
It’s a simple thing.
Simple as a flower,
and that’s a complicated thing.”
5. “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure
from the album, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987)
“You, soft and only.
You, lost and lonely.
You, strange as angels.
Dancing in the deepest oceans,
twisting in the water.
You’re just like a dream.
You’re just like a dream.”
Oh, my stars I love this song so much. Sometimes I take it for granted, and sometimes I forget how much I love it. That is until I hear it again, and then all the love comes rushing back to me.
Another from 1987.
The first track I thought of when I thought “today I want to dance”.
Once upon a time, I had a reputation of always including a song by The Cure in any mixtape I made. It was a habit that wasn’t intentional, though looking back its totally understandable considering how much I loved and listened to, their music.
“Just Like Heaven” hold in it a lot of fond memories, mostly of driving around listening to some of those mixtapes, and also of going dancing at Knott’s Berry Farm’s Cloud 9.
This was before I discovered underground clubs in Hollywood, and before I had a driver’s license or a car. Knott’s Berry Farm had two dance clubs within the park that was the highlight of my friends and my Summer nights in 1987. Cloud 9 was my favorite as it catered to the KROQ/New Wave/Alternative (before that was a word)/Goth type of music, and had all those brooding, eye-linered, skinny boys I crushed on so heavily hanging out within it.
I think the next playlist I make will have to include this song.
Some habits never die.